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StemCells Inc. (STEM) Awarded Patent for Neural Stem Cell Technology

StemCells Inc. (Nasdaq: STEM) today announced that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has granted the company the exclusive license to U.S. Patent Number 7,361,505, with broad claims covering human neural stem cells derived from any tissue source, including embryonic, fetal, juvenile, or adult tissue.

The patent boosts the company’s portfolio, which includes more than 50 issued or allowed U.S. patents, and more than 150 granted or allowed non-U.S. patents. StemCells’ has granted licenses to several companies in the neural stem cell field for limited purposes. These companies include U.S.-based BioWhittaker, Inc. (now part of the Swiss-based Lonza Group), UK-based ReNeuron Group plc, Canadian-based Stem Cell Therapeutics Corp. and StemCell Technologies.

“The issuance of this patent rounds out and strengthens our neural stem cell portfolio, which we believe is unparalleled in its breadth, depth and completeness,” Martin McGlynn, president and CEO of StemCells stated in the press release. “We are confident that any third party wishing to commercialize neural stem cells as potential therapeutics or to use them as drug screening tools will have to seek a license from us irrespective of how they derive the cells. We have already granted licenses to several companies and are currently considering licensing others.”

In conjunction with its wholly-owned subsidiary, StemCells California Inc., the company’s patents apply to the selection, expansion or use of neural stem cells. They include claims which cover compositions of matter, methods of identifying, isolating and enriching neural stem and progenitor cell populations, and methods of using these cells for therapeutic applications as well as for drug discovery and screening.

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